Assessments, Autism and Damn Fool Questions! 

“Do you have the means to kill your self ?”. 

There it is. Damn fool question. 

I was being assessed for some belated (very) adult Aspergers support and, given a history of self harm and suicide attempts, I was half expecting it. 

Even so…

“Yes”

I sense a frown means I’ve given a troubling answer but….knives in drawer, rope downstairs, the stairs themselves, cupboard full of medication, household cleaning products, a busy road outside….is there anyone who doesn’t “have the means” ? 

“Would you ?” 

“Possibly yes, if I was low enough and saw no way out” 

“Why haven’t you before ?”. 

I hate that. It’s almost accusatory. Why did you fail ?. Why am I having to ask you these questions and fill in these forms ?. Why are you here ?..

“Because the mood passed. Because I hoped tomorrow would be better”. 

I sense they’re the wrong answers but I don’t know what I am supposed to say. I feel tricked and uncomfortable. 

“How often do you think about suicide ?” 

“Every day” 

Alarm bells ring. 

“Why ?” 

Well it’s obvious isn’t it. Mum committed suicide. I think about Mum every day. Hence I link suicide with Mum and therefore it’s a natural process. 

The trouble with these questions is that I can’t prepare. I have no opportunity to see them in advance and I have no control over how my instant answers are interpreted. I’m being tasked with giving spontaneous answers to difficult questions and that makes me uneasy. Some of the questions are so vague that I need them repeating because I have no idea what I’m being asked. 

Then there are questions that ask for answers I can’t possibly give. 

“How do you think X views your behaviours ?” 

“Have people noticed A or B about you ?” 

“Have they noticed changes in your behaviour ?” 

Have you ever thought about asking them ?. 

I have no idea if anything I said was helpful. Whether anything I said was “serious” enough for me to be taken seriously. Whether I met the grade, achieved the score, answered well or properly. 

Damn fool questions. 

I am Autistic, not a mind reader. 

Three months to wait to hear if I’ll get any “help”….

But did I do okay ?. 

I don’t know. 

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